Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Things done and planned for

Back in office today after a long weekend and another long one follows next time. I did manage to keep myself somewhat busy and entertained across the three days, for one I did go out everyday apart from watching DVDs at home. I also read a few books pending on my shelf for a long time; however must say some of the chicklit stuff coming up these days seems to be only an adapted screenplay of ‘Sex and the City’ and a very poor copy at that. Also on Saturday I took part in a Speech contest and to my surprise won; Sunday was spent browsing net and catching up on some films while yesterday I went out to see ‘Whats your Rashee’ with my folks.

In my book ‘Whats your Rashee’ is entertaining by all counts, all the more endearing to marriageable blokes like me. Priyanka has given a riveting performance, each appearance having its own taste and flavor while Harman looks real hot. There are scenes in the film where I actually wanted to bed him there and then, those unshaven raw looks are too hard to ignore. Priyanka also sizzles at certain instances, moreso in the song where her gleaming back is on uninhibited display. Lust apart, the film does manage to keep one engrossed and its comic parts do entertain and amuse.

Since I too may be forced to look at potential brides in a not too distant future, much to my reluctance and my family’s glee (like Harman in the film), one Priyanka character I would love to meet will be the one where she is an astrologer. She tells Harman that his horoscope has certain defects, which can be remedied only if he screws a female before the wedding. She then goes on to offer her services, inviting Harman to initiate the age-old ecstatic activity, much to his chagrin. Too bad the scene had been edited in the print yesterday and also the entire configuration in Harman’s horoscope is not told in the film. Who knows I may go with a similar planet configuration to lady astrologers around town!

After the movie, we had dinner outside, where the fried fish succeeded in upsetting my stomach. I have also to plan for the next weekend before it begins; some of the workshops I explored are way too expensive, so guess will have to buy some more DVDs. This time I plan to look out for some stylish English ones, provided they are uncensored and have sub-titles running for I can’t follow those stupid accents. Also I have been dabbling in Buddhism these days, have attended one of their chanting sessions which are known to heal and soothe and plan to explore this further in coming days. Guess with the type of existence I have been leading, spirituality is the only escape I may be left with.

Monday, September 21, 2009

An evening at NDTV studio with Barkha Dutt

Yesterday morning, dreading another long weekend with not much to do, I wearily and despairingly left for the Toastmasters meeting. After the meeting got over and everybody was leaving, I hung around for few minutes, more to kill time than anything else. I could see few people conversing and seeing me around one of them remarked “take him along if he is free”. I did not know what they were talking and upon asking was told they had spare passes to NDTV ‘We The People’ show with Barkha Dutt tonight. Voila! I jumped in excitement and confirmed my participation there and then.

Back home I was feeling all pumped up. I cancelled all pending things-to-do for evening and was ready bang on time, arriving on dot in front of my friend’s apartment gate. He took some time to get ready and in few minutes we were cruising towards Greater Kailash. Thankfully the traffic was not much and my friend had some interesting things to talk that kept me engaged for most of the way. We arrived at the venue a few minutes late, and to my surprise NDTV studio is not what I had thought it to be. It is non-descript by all standards, hidden behind a glamorous shopping complex in Greater Kailash I, and its entrance is eerie to say the least. We were welcomed by a young girl near car parking, who took us towards the rear of the complex, which was dark and narrow, and from where we ascended a long flight of stairs leading to another long and narrow passage, finally ending up in the studio venue.

The studio, astonishingly, is much smaller than what it appears on TV. Also it was too crowded with all college kids and youngsters lurking around, though most of the available seats were already taken. My friend was fortunate to be accommodated in a good and visible spot, which could be easily captured by the cameras while I had to make do with an extra chair in a desolate, hidden corner. Although the spot boys were doing their best to adjust everyone, there were many extras still to be fixed somewhere. I overheard one spot boy remarking ‘abey zyaada kone main mat daal, warna Barkha chutiya kaat degi’

All the invited panel members marched in almost together, from whom I could identify only a few. Later when show began I could recognize and recall a few of them, prominent being Ashok Vajpayee, the literary czar; Mukul Kesavan, academic and NDTV regular; Khushboo, the South Indian actress and Sudhir Mishra, the film maker. Sudhir Mishra actually looks like a pimp with stained teeth, eyes mapping everyone and white hair. Khushboo, who was clearly visible from my seat, looked really graceful in a silk sari and it was difficult to believe this was the same female who had voiced those stunning views on pre-marital sex some years back.

Ten minutes to 8 PM and in walked Barkha Dutt, dressed neatly in a black salwar kameez and with a lot of make-up on. Perhaps the make-up is not so visible on TV but she is not clear faced by any stretch. Barkha greeted everyone and then laid bare the rules of the game, asking audience not to interrupt in between, and to speak only into the mike. Guess the panel members must have been briefed beforehand only, for I don’t think NDTV can risk a live show uninstructed. As clock started inching towards 8 PM, Barkha started coordinating with the back-end technical team and I could spot on her traces of nervousness, as the music started dying down and our air time approached. This actually shows that seasoned practitioners of any art, let it be TV speaking only, are nervous before any performance, irrespective of previous accomplishments.

Soon the show started and we were live on air. Barkha set the ball rolling with a few brisk lines and went around the panel, initiating a heated debate. The topic for the evening was the controversial HRD Ministry proposal to use Hindi language for school education. During the first twenty minutes, panel members argued with their beliefs and arguments, where I again admired Khushboo for her diction and presentability. One of the panel members happened to be a Dalit leader who had his own foolish set of arguments, which promoted English as a uniting factor for Dalits and downtrodden. During the first break I told Barkha that I had a question to ask, but I was left cursing my location as it was too behind and hidden for cameras to capture. Sadly the only time during the show that I came on TV was when the guy in front of me asked a question and I started monkeying behind him, my hour of glory albeit a brief one.

What was remarkable during the entire show was the way Barkha carried it through. It certainly is not easy to go live on air, with an unfamiliar group and anybody could have easily disrupted the show from the audience. Also the panel members had their own agendas on the show, which Barkha neatly managed to balance. When the camera was not on her, I could observe Barkha narrow her eyes and target the uneasy panel members, so as to lend balance and add teeth to the debate. Also she rotated her places amongst all the four podiums, thus giving different visual views all the time. Barkha’s shrewdness and boldness is beyond doubt, something which cannot be hidden even if you have been a witness to her performance only for a small hour.

After the show got over, my friend drove me back, safely dropping me at my apartment gates. I had not eaten till late night but to my surprise, I did not feel any hunger at all

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Five reasons I like weekdays better than weekends

I have another long weekend approaching soon, and more holidays there after, though surprisingly I am not too excited at the prospect of having few more days off. Strangely I am not a big fan of having too many holidays and kind of enjoy coming to office. Perhaps I enjoy weekdays more than week ends and after pondering over it for some time, have come to the following probable reasons

1) Set routine, no deviations: I kind of relish the discipline and routine of office, gym, yoga, blogs etc, though I dislike getting up early in morning. I agree there is no excitement in routine but there is also less room for boredom, if it is more to your liking. Moreover we tend to schedule ourselves as per our convenience and tweak our ease somewhere in between

2) Away from home and all crappy people: I seem to detest my people more than anything else, cannot do with so much of negative energy around. Office provides a nice get away and keeps me engaged. I think I would have really gone bonkers sitting at home, with no out let outside

3) Mind occupied no devil’s workshop: a good thing about workplace is most of the times there is work, which if not in too large quantity, does keep you constructively busy. And with work on mind, limited scope for familiar irritations - reminiscing about past, grieving about present or worrying about future - to enter

4) Limited socializing/no partying: at home I usually confine to my room with only few companions around including my laptop, few books and a mobile. Since I cannot booze at home, it feels all the more shitty. Though I do go out for Toastmasters meetings, Art of Living events or movie shows in my complex, nothing to match those high spirits

5) Office has multiple commode showers: this may look trivial but it helps that office has well maintained toilets, thanks to the office staff for its prim and proper condition all time. Commode showers are an essential for me and with numerous loo cubicles on every floor, they do work and serve well

Its true like everyone else, I too count the way to weekends, but somehow always end up disappointed. However that doesn’t stop me in joining others, or rather to pretend to be with others, in looking forward to weekends, only to end up with the all too familiar disenchantment

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Who do I love the most?

In the last Art of Living course I under went, during one of the many meditation processes, all participants were asked to close their eyes and think of the person they loved most. While everyone around was rapt in concentration, my mind went blank and howsoever hard I tried, could not get a single name, person or image coming to mind. I don’t know why but inspite of reminiscing my past and present, no single person could come up

After the process and the course, I again went back into thinking of who did I really love most? Certainly not anyone from my family by any count. If anything I have grown all the more distant from them and this is not a teenage rebellion or a growing-up phenomenon. Even during my primitive childhood too, I do not recall any fondness for any of them, reinforced by their own behavior during my later teens.

But who do I love the most? I thought of my friends and acquaintances. At different stages of my life I did have my langotiya yaars, but they too disappeared with the completion of that phase. In school I did have some people around and they do remember me whenever I visit my growing-up city. The best time I had was in Hindu College, but my gang has splattered with the passing of time and professional occupations. In workplace I did have my best buddies in the two places that I have worked, but buddies at office do and should remain workplace friends only.

Who do I love the most? I have never been in a relationship in my life and astoundingly do not feel on having missed out on anything. I have seen people around me suffer with their own relationship issues, both genders included, and perhaps that made me never get close to any one. Sometimes these days when I think of a perfect companion for me, I imagine someone elder, matured, well-off and independent and not any chick next door.

Who do I love the most? I guess I have never loved anyone and with the present turmoil in my mind precipitated by thorny relationships at home, will not love any one for sometime. But love is a human need; we all give love, we all need love, its love which drives the world. I guess it’s the lack of finding love which has been the bane of my life

Last night I put on a song from a relatively old flick, Agnisakshi with Manisha Koirala dancing. Guess the words could not have been truer

Ikrar karna mushkil hain, izhaar karna mushkil hain
Mehboob ki mohabbat ka intezaar karna mushkil hain
Kitna mushkil hain dekho iss duniya main dil lagana

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Rains, office and my day

It has been raining cats and dogs since morning. Somehow I am not a great fan of rain, feel it is more a hindrance to many things one does or wants to do, though rain also has many romantic connotations. Since morning the road in front of my office has been converted to a river with people forced to fold their pants or lowers before venturing out. Unfortunately there are not many female employees here and those working here have too old legs to ogle at.

These days I am reasonably busy in office, as compared to sometime back when there was hardly any work and only sight visible were the sad employee faces coming to clear their final exit formalities; some laid off, some moving on having got the signal and some having been told to look out. Phew what a sad year this has been; an ordeal not to be forgotten easily anytime soon.

Also I have been recently assigned new responsibilities, feels good that atleast someone has faith and trust in me, all the more better if they happen to decide your work career. Atleast in office I am not feeling so lost, lonely and desolate as I do many times at home. So what if I don’t make much money, atleast I am not being kicked around at work, which would be the worst possible thing happening now with no jobs available outside.

I guess one’s professional life is equally, if not more, important than personal life. For the first time in past three years, I eagerly look forward to coming to office each day and getting on with my stuff here, which sometimes also includes writing blog posts as I am doing now. Sadly my office doesn’t have too many youngsters around, however the flip side is a proper work-life maintained. Also with the economy in turmoil, it works better to be in a non-dynamic, unfluctuating environment not subject to whims of the current crisis.

Meanwhile the rains outside do not seem to stop, incessant pouring since morning continuing unabated with greater force. I haven’t seen this kind of a rain in Gurgaon since ages, heavens have chosen to open up today after a long time, after all it is my birthday

Monday, September 7, 2009

Udaipur Rocks

I am just back from Udaipur and must say it was indeed a refreshing trip. A vacation after a long time is indeed relaxing and provides a much needed breather, if not a getaway from the daily grind.

Udaipur is exquisitely beautiful however the major attraction is its lakes and adjoining places. The Lake Palace is perhaps the most majestic sight I have set my eyes on and its very difficult to look any where else once you are near it. A huge white marvel bang in the middle of lake with no walls and only water around, I am surprised how it is not a wonder of the world. Unfortunately visitors are not allowed inside after Taj Mumbai attacks, but the view from outside only is simply breathtaking.

There is also a car museum in the city, where all vintage cars of Maharajas are on display. All old models of Cadillac, Rolls Royce and Mercedes look awesome and the stamp of royalty only adds to the elegance. I especially looked with envy at the seat cushion of sedan, where Jacqueline Kennedy had sat on her visit to the city ages back.

We also took a day trip to Chittaurgarh fort on outskirts of Udaipur. The place is replete with history dating back to 12th century but it has lost a bit of sheen due to lack of maintenance and hands of time. However the palace of Rani Padmini still looks amazing and the spot where she self-immolated herself to escape evil clutches of Khilji, still has that aura. Seems during those days men prided themselves on valor while women had their izzat to defend.

A drawback of the city is the exorbitant rates charged to tourists; moreso the foreigners. If you do not know the local dialect and are unaware of the local areas, then you are in for a major ride. I must have lost atleast 500 bucks extra on auto rickshaws, with a single 5 minute ride alone costing 100 just because the auto was boarded from outside Trident (where we had coffee last evening, coz nothing else suited our pockets there).

Another downside of the trip was the hotel we stayed in. It was disgusting to stay in a so-called three star hotel, where flush does not work, bathroom door does not close, AC is off during power cuts, cockroaches have built another empire with their own palaces and forts and morning breakfast is banana with tea! Must say how smartly the holiday vendors can fool

My next outstation trip planned is for Jammu in November, though I do have holidays coming end of this month. But I am actually happy with Udaipur, a long pending vacation gone well and enjoyable

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Changes: expected, unexpected and waiting for

Things seem to be happening a bit too fast these days and some of them were unexpected. Last month was marked by many changes and don’t know what September has in store for me. First the unexpected trip to Jammu, my falling sick, my transfer in office which I got when least expected though had been pleading for it for sometime, Art of Living Course and now a trip to Udaipur starting tonight. And if all this was not enough, I also fucked a whore in between, which too was not really expected of me

I depart for Udaipur today evening, a long planned vacation finally happening. I will be accompanied by a cousin, as could not find anyone else available. I can’t recall the last time I took a vacation voluntarily and really hope this one turns out to be something nice. Taking an off from work has also not been easy, I am yet to inform my boss that he will not see me tomorrow. I have been taking too many offs the past one month, which I do not like, though one can’t do much if unexpected events happen around planned holidays. Adding to the injury is that today only I came to know of a bunch of holidays coming together by end of this month. Imagine the world is working and I am holidaying and during real holidays watching pirated DVDs at home. Ugh !

I am really not a vacation types, like to stick around with my work and my schedule; guess that has been the bane of my mundane life. Perhaps my strict parentage and curbed upbringing has something to do with this, one of the reasons I really long to run away from home.

September is also the month when an astrologer had predicted my fortunes will begin to change. I did not ask him if it will change for better or worse, one gets so used to the drudgery of routine life, can’t fathom what change will change bring. I remember having taken a lot of heart when had heard of this one and actually looked forward to onset of September, when I was badly hit by the recession at end of last year, having lost a job offer in Dubai.

Guess will have to wait for a swing of fortune, till then will keep baring my soul on this blog